19th Annual Butterfly Release and Memorial
Approximately 150 people gathered Saturday at Bittersweet Park in Greeley to remember lost loved ones, many of whom received hospice care from TRU Hospice of Northern Colorado (TRU HNC). An annual tradition in the community, this celebration of life is an important part of the grief process for many family members coping with a loss.
CEO of TRU Community Care and TRU Hospice of Northern Colorado, Michael McHale, welcomed guests on a beautiful, sunny morning. American Legion Post 18 Color Guard gave a brief performance in honor of our veterans. TRU Bereavement Coordinator, Julie Miller, shared a personal story of friendship and loss and reminded community members about the grief support provided by TRU HNC. “We offer a variety of grief support groups to the community as well as individual and family counseling to family members of TRU HNC patients. We are here for you in your time of need,” explained Miller.
Sue Sabas, Clinical Services Manager, facilitated a time for sharing of memories. Attendees took turns standing up and vocalizing something special about the people they lost. There was laughter and there were tears. “Even though mom has been gone a few months, I’m still learning new things about her,” shared McHale. Guests blew bubbles and scattered roses and rose petals at the base of a tree in the park to honor the memories of their loved ones.
While the butterflies were delayed in arriving, many participants waited patiently while talking with others who have experienced similar love and loss and enjoyed music from harpist Kaitlin Miller. Representing the transition of one life form to another, the butterflies were eventually released into the air.
While TRU Hospice of Northern Colorado recently announced the closure of its Inpatient Care Center at North Colorado Medical Center, they continue to offer compassionate hospice care, including inpatient care through community partnerships in contracted hospital beds and in skilled nursing facilities in the area.